We have an opening in our Out of the Park Baseball League. Anyone want to play?

The Unofficial SDMB Out of the Park Baseball League currently has an opening for a new owner.

For those of you who don’t know, OOTP is a baseball simulation game that puts you in the owner’s/General Manager’s seat. In short, you have a twenty-five man Major League roster, as well as three levels of minor leagues (AAA, AA and A). You draft and develop players, sign free agents, offer and negotiate trades, set promotion dates for your team (Bat Day, Bobblehead Day, etc.), manage your team’s finances, etc. You have to watch out for injuries to players, declining superstars and highly rated prospects that sometimes go bust.

The league just finished up it’s sixth season. The 2008 season will be beginning shortly. Everyone in the league is really geared up to compete this year - the 2007 season ended with the former-SDMBer Montfort winning the Cecil Cup for the fourth consecutive year. However, his team is getting older and we’re all ready to step in and try to replace him as league champions.

The team that is available is the Michigan Dragons. The Dragons ended the 2007 campaign in fifth place in the Zotti League with a record of 75-87.

The Dragons are a team with some strengths, some weaknesses and a potential problem.

The high points of the team are:

1B Frank Nunn - Nunn is a left-handed slugger who has wholloped 231 homers over the last six years (including 32 last year) while maintaining a .317 career average. His career OPS is an impressive .999! Nunn has been an all-star all six years of the league’s existence and won the Outstanding Batter Award (the MVP equivelant) in 2002.

LF Tony Demiras - Demiras was the team’s first round selection (second pick overall) in the 2005 amateur draft. He’s got very good potential as a power hitter and a hitter for average. He spent most of 2007 on the bench, and his performance suffered for it. However, he is only 21, capable of performing on the major league level and has a lot of potential.

The weaknesses? The starting rotation needs to be revamped. A few more hitters wouldn’t hurt either. You may not be able to compete for the Cecil Cup this year, but with the proper management, you may make it in a season or two. Of course, this being the offseason, you can also bid on some of the free agents that are available to help your team.

The team also has several good prospects in the minor leagues. Among the up-and-coming players the Dragons have are:

SP Richard Shipp - Shipp is a young righty who throws 93-96MPH and has great stuff. He was the team’s first round draft choice in 2006 and over the last two years has compiled a 24-22 record in the minors. He still needs to work on his control, however, to become a truly effective pitcher, but he’s got great potential.

SP Isaac Diehl - Diehl is, in many ways, the flip side of Shipp. He’s a lefty, a bit older (23) and is far more of a control artist than Shipp. Unlike Shipp, he’s not a fireballer (normal velocity for him is 88-91MPH), but his pitches move a lot more than Shipp’s do. He’s a groundball pitcher who has five pitches at his disposal. He’s also an excellent fielder. He was the team’s second selection in the 2006 amateur draft and has compiled a 21-19 record over the last two years in the minors.

Duane Gerhardt - Gerhardt is a demon on the basepaths. Possessing blinding speed (45 stolen bases last year in the minors) and excellent range at both second base and shortstop, he could easily be an all-star for many years to come. Besides swipping 45 bags, he also hit .293 and slugged 13HRs in Class A. Duane was Michigan’s first round draft pick in 2007. Already possessing excellent hitting skills, it shouldn’t take him too long to progress through the minors and star at the major league level.

There is, however, one major potential problem with this team: Frank Nunn.

Nunn, as he is, is a great hitter. But he’s 36 years old. And he’s got a huge contract for the next four years. He may continue hitting for a few years, but at some point, he’s probably going to start declining. It’ll be up to you to try to figure out how to handle his contract when his production starts going downhill. Maybe you’ll find someone to trade him to. Maybe you’ll just eat the contract or play him. But the choice will be yours.

Your job will be to take this franchise, rebuild it (faster, stronger, better) and make it into a contender.

You can see the team’s full roster and details at the team’s page.

Since we’re currently between seasons, you’ll be able to rename and “relocate” the team.

All we ask is that you participate actively. Once a week you will have to download the league file to your computer, make any necessary changes to your team, and then upload the file to the league website.

The game is available for download at Out Of The Park Baseball. We are currently using version 6.5 of the game. The current cost of the game is $29.94 ($19.95 for version 6 + $9.95 for the upgrade to 6.5).

If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask and either I, or one of the other league members, will be more than happy to answer.

Zev Steinhardt

What? No love in 12 hours?

C’mon, people! It’s a fun game! And you get to play it with ME!

Seriously.

It’s worth noting that besides the online component, there’s also the option to simulate leagues of your own design. It’s $30 for the software, not for entrance into the league, so you can join other leagues, start your own, et cetera. You can download a historical roster/stats database and tinker to your heart’s content – to find out, for instance, what would happen if the expansion Devil Rays had started with a 22-year old Babe Ruth on their roster*. It’s like fantasy baseball, but with actual control over the teams and players (and I know there are some fantasy players out there).
*Still suck.

Also: the Michigan club had six, SIX Slick Fielder award winners last year - our equivalent of MLB’s Golden Gloves - including their entire infield. It’s like trying to hit line drives against a black hole.

And after four weeks of OOTP, there will be no sweeter feeling than sweeping a series against Montfort’s seemingly unstoppable team of Ruthian gypsies.

-Treviathan, whose Saskatoon squad lost to Montfort in last year’s Cecil Cup.

Garf226 just clued me into this, and it sounds like an awesome time. I just might fill the void, if you guys are still looking.

Nothing concrete yet, though. Budget concerns for a poor kid who overspent early in the school year. :frowning:

Yep, we’re still looking. If you have any questions, feel free to email me (or ask here).

Zev Steinhardt

Hell, I’ll pick up the cost for the kid if he’ll pay me back later. I know what being in school can be like.

I can pay you back, but it probably wouldn’t be until summer when I have a “real” job.

Sounds like you’ve got your interested person… but as an addicted fantasy baseball player, any Dopers that also play baseball on whatifsports.com should let me know… maybe we can start a Straight Dope League there too.

No worries. Contact me offline and we’ll arrange it.

Hell, mungo, from your name I’d welcome you in as well if we could find another player and expand.

But it’s Zev’s call, not mine.

Actually, we’d need another three players, not another one. Until the new version comes out, there is no interleague play and, therefore, we have to keep an even number of teams per league. So, if we wanted to expand, we’d have to go from 12 to 16, requiring four new owners.

Zev

Okay, I downloaded the ZIP file off of the league website, but what do I do with it now?

Extract it into the OOTP6.5 folder.

Then when you start the game, it should automatically load it.

Not quite.

I think you have to do the ‘Open League’ thing the first time you run a specific league. That sets the file pointer at the right directory.

okay, I tried opening it, but it gave me an error message, said “abnormal program termination” or something similar. Any ideas?

Hmm. Did you download the 6.51a patch?

http://www.ootpdevelopments.com/article.php?newsid=392

It’s free so go forth and download.

I have, actually, before I tried loading the league.

I’m finally in. I had to reinstall both OOTP 6 and 6.5. Still, the important thing is I’m in. Now we’ll see how things go. . .